LAHORE: PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Husain and former deputy prime minister Pervaiz Elahi say the PML-N has introduced a “black law” after announcement of the election schedule for district councils and mayors, adding they will challenge it in court.

“It shows the PML-N has no confidence in its elected representatives. The government was afraid of surprise results in secret balloting that is why it introduced this black law,” Pervaiz Elahi told a news conference after a party meeting at his residence here on Saturday.

Under the ordinance promulgated by the governor on Jan 20 to amend the Local Government Act 2013, the Punjab government changed the procedure for election of mayors/chairpersons from secret ballot to show of hands, but it deprives local bodies of an opportunity to convene their maiden sessions. It also changed the procedure for reserved seats.

Elahi said the PML-Q and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf would jointly file a petition against this “black law” in court and not allow the PML-N government to make illegal amendments to the local body law.

To a question about re-organisation of the party, Elahi said: “We have decided to reorganise party structure at tehsil and district levels. A committee has been constituted to nominate new office-bearers for the purpose.”

Criticising the Punjab government for its priorities, Elahi said hospitals and schools were most neglected while the Punjab government was spending a huge amount of budget on metro buses and Orange Train project.

“The Orange Train project is actually a dollar-making project,” he said.

Earlier, addressing the meeting Chaudhry Shujaat said the PML-Q stood as the third biggest party of Punjab in local body elections and asked party workers to work for strengthening it.

Published in Dawn, January 24th, 2016

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